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USATSI

As goes the quarterback, so goes the team. It's not always true in the NFL, but it usually is. And it makes sense: In a passing league, the passers are like royalty -- the biggest influences on whether a team is destined more for a Super Bowl title or a No. 1 draft pick.

Nothing has evidenced the NFL's contemporary reliance on big-time QB play like the first two weeks of the 2020 season, during which 13 different starters posted passer ratings above 100 and another nine completed at least 70 percent of their throws. Each year the limits of aerial production are tested, and this season appears to be no exception.

It's with all that in mind that we come to you with the most important pecking order outside of traditional team power rankings: QB Power Rankings. Consider this your cut-and-dry guide to the best and worst of the NFL's signal-callers -- a weekly 1-to-32 rundown of every starter under center.

How are the QBs ranked? By considering their 1.) current standing and team situation, b.) overall reputation, and c.) projected upside. With each passing week, the first factor will receive more weight in the rankings so that this list mostly reflects 2020 performance.

Now, without further ado, let's get to the Week 3 rankings:

Week 3 QB Power Rankings
1
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
No one is throwing the ball like him right now. Not Patrick Mahomes. Not Lamar Jackson. Wilson is simply on another level. Somehow, as Seattle has unleashed his deep ball, No. 3 is completing more than 82 percent of his throws while leading the league with nine TDs through two games. He's not only efficient but a glaring big-play threat, not to mention as nimble as ever in and outside of the pocket. This, friends, is Russell Wilson demanding his first MVP.

Last week: 1

2
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Jackson was always bound for a regression in TD passes after exploding in 2019, but he's arguably off to just as good of a start this year, connecting on nearly 80 percent of his throws and averaging almost 10 yards per attempt. Wilson's dominance, coupled with the play of the other top QBs, has somehow kept Jackson under the radar, but he and the Ravens offense look darn near unstoppable.

Last week: 2

3
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
In terms of acrobatic throwing abilities, Mahomes is still the undisputed top dog. And if he had played two shootouts to start the year, we might be considering him at No. 2. But this shouldn't be a slight against him. He's great. He's a threat to unleash a game-winning throw whenever he takes the field. Chiefs fans should be confident every week so long as he's healthy.

Last week: 3

4
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Who among you said Rodgers' career was finally about to take a nosedive? Who among you said the Packers had no weapons? Any other year, No. 12 would be leading the MVP conversation right now. Rodgers leads the NFL in 40-plus-yard throws through two weeks, and he's got the confidence of past playoff runs. New Orleans has to be worried going into Week 3.

Last week: 4

5
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
The passing numbers aren't eye-popping, but everything else is. Murray's deep-ball touch is a sight to behold, and his legs are even more impressive. It's not an overstatement to call him as dangerous as Lamar Jackson on the ground right now. Who has a defensive scheme to completely neuter his athleticism? He's got the Cardinals rolling.

Last week: 5

6
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
A week after struggling to make a big play to save Dallas against the Rams, Prescott put the team on his back in a wild comeback over Atlanta. He may never make the highlight-reel throws or runs of elite athletes like Jackson or Murray, but he sure as heck is going to put his team in a position to win. The Cowboys can rest easy knowing he's their guy, with or without questionable coaching at the top.

Last week: 7

7
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
Imagine if this guy played for a team that knew how to play defense and/or hold massive leads. Ryan is a sure bet for video-game numbers on a near-weekly basis, in part because of the weapons at his disposal but also because he's just really good at playing point guard in a big-play attack. One thing's for sure: He's not the reason the Falcons are 0-2.

Last week: 9

8
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
It's safe to say the elbow is good to go. Big Ben looks a whole lot closer to his 2018 self than the one that struggled to open 2019 before getting hurt. He's also quickly establishing connections with guys like Diontae Johnson, not to mention exuding renewed leadership internally. If you're not paying attention to Pittsburgh, you'd better start.

Last week: 10

9
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
It might be a tad early to push Allen all the way into the top 10, but the early results this season suggest otherwise. Besides being a bulldozer on the ground, he's taken real steps forward as a passer over the last calendar year. He's also putting his great arm to use, leading the NFL in 20-plus-yard throws while considerably upping his accuracy. Can he keep it up against better opponents?

Last week: 13

10
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Goff is the biggest riser of this week after a nearly flawless Week 2, in which he walked up and down the Eagles' defense en route to a blowout win. That performance came on the heels of a surprisingly efficient season-opening upset of Dallas. When he's pressured, he's still especially subpar. But boy, does he look more comfortable than he's been for a while.

Last week: 19

11
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
His reputation is keeping him afloat just outside the top 10, because this season has done him no favors -- not primarily because of his own mistakes but more so because of the lackluster setup around him. Already prone to more dud games than people realize, Watson's been hampered by poor protection, poor scheming and a so-so receiving corps.

Last week: 8

12
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Week 2's win over Carolina wasn't always pretty, but it was a step in the right direction. Interceptions just might be a more regular part of the equation as Brady continues to integrate in Bruce Arians' system, but it's clear TB12 still has the arm to make a difference. With solid run support, he should continue to improve, along with the Bucs.

Last week: 12

13
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Brees wasn't horrible in the Saints' upset loss to the Raiders, so his steep drop may seem excessive. But anyone who's watched him open 2020 should know his arm looks ... aged? Something is off with his touch, and while it may not crater New Orleans' season, it's certainly cause for concern considering how loaded their offense is otherwise.

Last week: 6

14
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
This week in Philly talk radio will undoubtedly take things too far in questioning Wentz's ceiling, but some criticism is valid: It's Year Five, and he looks to be pressing more than usual despite a solid supporting cast (save for a battered O-line). The Eagles cannot afford another turnover-laden start from No. 11 as they look to salvage the early part of their season.

Last week: 11

15
Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
It remains to be seen whether his heavy run usage will last over the long term, but make no mistake, he was absolutely the reason the Patriots nearly upset the Seahawks in prime time. His legs and his arm both look to be in tip-top shape. If he can string together a few more of those performances, he'll re-solidify himself as a top-10 talent.

Last week: 17

16
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
He'll probably never fully rid himself of certain mental errors (see: back-to-back sacks despite good protection vs. New Orleans), but he's really embraced his role as the captain of an efficient, old-school attack in Vegas. After outplaying Brees on Monday night, he at least deserves a nod of respect for the Raiders' surprise 2-0 start.

Last week: 18

17
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
Like Wentz, he's not necessarily the biggest reason for his team's failures, but he's also coming up short when he's needed most. Too many untimely mistakes have contributed to Detroit's largely hapless start, and unless wholesale staff changes are coming, a big turnaround might not be in order.

Last week: 16

18
Gardner Minshew Jacksonville Jaguars QB
With each passing week, Minshew Mania seems destined to rise. He'll throw picks here and there, but he also kept two good defenses on their toes to open 2020. It appears his rookie year was not an aberration. Somehow, some way, he has energized the Jaguars, and that alone makes him one of the NFL's most intriguing at his position.

Last week: 21

19
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
It's still unclear if he's the guy to go the distance for Tennessee, but he's done an awfully good job protecting the ball in 12 straight starts for the club. You might be surprised to know Tannehill currently boasts the fourth best passer rating among all QBs after two weeks.

Last week: 23

20
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
This isn't an exaggeration: Cousins has probably been the worst starting QB in the entire NFL through two weeks. For every good ball he's thrown, he's had a handful of misfires or dumb decisions, including a severely under-thrown deep-ball pick against Indy in Week 2. He's better than this. But his ceiling was already limited to a top-12ish spot. In an 0-2 hole, he desperately needs a rebound.

Last week: 15

21
Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
Rivers was better against Minnesota than in his Week 1 flop, but at some point, the Colts will probably ask themselves whether Rivers is capable of single-handedly winning a game for them. We know his turnovers can lose one for them. Best-case scenario, he leans even more on Jonathan Taylor and the ground game.

Last week: 20

22
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Bengals fans couldn't have asked for much more from their No. 1 pick. Considering Cincy's suspect O-line, Burrow has looked incredibly poised to open his career. Don't be surprised if he goes off again against the Eagles in Week 3, perhaps even upsetting Wentz and Philly on the road.

Last week: 28

23
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
We need to see more consistency from Mayfield before vaulting him way up the board, and he still forces one too many throws. But he was good against the Bengals on a short week, and it's still apparent he's got the tools to be a play-making distributor on a talented Cleveland offense.

Last week: 26

24
Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
It was a mixed bag for Teddy against a tough Bucs team in Week 2, in which he fared well except for a couple of costly turnovers. That's what the Panthers can expect for the rest of the year -- some flashes and some struggles. Without Christian McCaffrey, he could be in for more trouble.

Last week: 24

25
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Anthony Lynn insists Tyrod Taylor will be the Chargers' guy when healthy, but it seems more likely Herbert will get another start in Week 3. And he should. The rookie is bound to rely a little too much on his arm talent in tight spots, but he also looked surprisingly NFL-ready against Kansas City. His presence makes the Chargers better.

Last week: Unranked

26
Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears QB
After a fourth-quarter comeback in Week 1, Trubisky came back to Earth despite the Bears' second straight win. This is probably where he truly belongs, toward the bottom pack of starters. The athleticism flashes here and there, but there are still far too many missed throws.

Last week: 25

27
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Jones has the arm and wherewithal to be something in the NFL, but he seems doomed for another turnover spree on this battered Giants team, especially now that Saquon Barkley is also sidelined for the rest of the year. We might have to wait until Year Three for a true evaluation.

Last week: 27

28
Dwayne Haskins Washington Football Team QB
Week 2 was par for the course for Haskins, who may or may not have that "it" factor to lift an otherwise mediocre franchise. Like Jones, his situation isn't ideal, and he'll be hard-pressed for wins for a while.

Last week: 29

29
Ryan Fitzpatrick Miami Dolphins QB
Credit to him for rebounding after an awful start to the year, but again, Fitzpatrick is what he is: An aggressive big-play QB who's bound to force his way into trouble. If the Dolphins can't beat the Jaguars on Thursday night, you have to wonder if Brian Flores will consider pulling the trigger on a change.

Last week: 32

30
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
Set to start in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3, Mullens is by no means a lock to replicate Jimmy G's production, but you have to remember two things: 1.) The system in which he plays, and 2.) The fact he knows that system. Kyle Shanahan should be able to get the most out of him, even if it's as a shepherd of the ground game.

Last week: Unranked

31
Jeff Driskel Denver Broncos QB
It's a good thing the Broncos signed Blake Bortles, because they needed someone more capable of filling in for Drew Lock over the course of a month. Driskel, however, didn't back off the challenge against a tough Steelers defense in Week 2. If he can get decent protection and avoid risky throws, he might be a passable one-week stopgap.

Last week: Unranked

32
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
You can blame the Jets more than Darnold for this ranking, but the reality is Sam is completely hamstrung by his circumstances. He's not allowed to audible. He's got poor play-makers. His yards-per-attempt mark is worst among all starting QBs outside of Burrow. It's bad. It's really bad.

Last week: 31